Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Teaching and incorporating ICTs - what for?

Finally - I have drafted a "teaching philosophy" with respect to ICTs.
Feel free to make comments to challenge my understanding on this issue.

Information Communication Technology (herein referred to as ICTs) – to use technology to communicate information; ideas, concepts, opinions and facts। ICTs impact in each of our lives in numerous ways; we watch the television while we eat breakfast, we talk to our spouse on the mobile phone on our way home from work (of course not while driving), we listen to a podcast while we walk up Castle Hill on our iPod, we become ‘Facebook friends’ with political figures during their campaign, and at the end of our day we enter a short account of the days events in our on-line diary (aka Blog). The technological changes that we have witnessed in the last few decades have revolutionized the way in which we interact with each other and the world in general. Information is communicated differently in the 21st century than the 20th. For Teachers this has profound implications.

The purpose of formalized education it can be argued is to equip the people of the nation with the skills and knowledge necessary to allow the country to survive on the ‘world stage’, while simultaneously allowing the persons to participate as citizens of their country. It is therefore important to keep this end point in mind when incorporating ICTs into the learning experiences of the students.
Incorporating ICT must always be done with the goal to enhance the educational experience; and not as a token gesture that removes the enjoyment and excitement from learning. In much the same way that skills are developed for a sport, not for the skill in and of itself, but in order to be used and incorporated into the sport as a whole; so to are ICT’s not an end in themselves, but a means by which we can participate and interact with our society.
This should therefore shape our approach to incorporating ICT in the classroom; modeling the use of the ICTs as part of something better; as part of the exciting journey and experience that life can be. ICTs are incredibly useful an powerful tools, and by equipping students with the skills necessary to use ICTs in their everyday life as citizens, all-the-while supporting their development (and drive) towards being lifelong learners, teachers can safely say they have accomplished an honorable mission for their country and their students.

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